Kropotkin Piotr Alexeievitch
Peter Kropotkin - Russian revolutionary, a theorist of anarchism, geographer, geomorphologist, historian, writer.
The chapter traces the history of evolution of Russian liberal thought in the span of the 19th century and explores how Russian liberals conceptualized the phenomenon of imperial diversity and related to the context of empire in thinking about potentialities of progressive Russian politics. The author explores the history of importation of blueprints of liberal universalism in Russian liberal thought and the development of the paradigm of national liberalism in reposnse to the challenges of the modern empire. The author argues that the idiom of national liberalism was not the only one. A different paradigm was in existence that may be called imperial liberalism. The chapter finds out how this alternative paradigm helped Russian liberals assume a significant place in public politics in the late imperial period, when the odds of mass politics were against classical liberalism. The chapter introduces the author’s finding of the transnational genealogy of Petr Struve’s program of “Greater Russia.”
The two outstanding Russian thinkers of the 20th century, Fedor Avgustovich Stepun (Friedrich Steppuhn) and Boris Petrovich Vysheslavtsev, shared not only many of their philosophic ideas, but the vicissitudes of fate as well. Both completed their studies of philosophy in Germany, both emerged as important figures in the Russian pre-revolutionary thought and both were expelled from the country on board the ill-famous "philosophers' steamboat" in 1922. Once abroad, their lives took different courses, but they never lost view one of another. Either one in a different manner, they both pointed out that 20th century is the time of the triumph of irrationalism which totally overwhelmed and suppressed what had been remaining of the rationalist and positivist 19th century. According to them, it was the irrationalism which became the major cause of all the tragedies they witnessed. The author also publishes Stepun's letters to Vysheslavtsev illustrating their intellectual affinity and mutual interest. In Appendix the reader will find published an hitherto little known text by Stepun on bolshevism.